Sherman native Charla Aldous turned a setback into victory this week when a jury in Denton County awarded her client a $32 million verdict against two former high school football players for a sexual assault the client said they perpetrated against her back in 2012 when she was 14.
The case brought Aldous home to Sherman’s federal District Court two years ago when the same young woman sued the Lewisville School District for violating her Title IX rights and lost.
In that trial, Aldous’ client asserted that the school district’s actions after hearing her allegations that two members of the Hebron High School football team had raped her at a party in September 2012, violated her Title IX rights.
The Herald Democrat generally does not name alleged victims of sexual assault in coverage of trials. The two young men are not being identified because they were juveniles when the alleged incident occurred and they were never charged with any crime related to the incident.
The most recent trial included allegations of sexual assault, conspiracy to conceal sexual assault, negligence and cyber bullying. A statement from the public relations firm of Androvett said Aldous’ client was awarded $7 million in actual damages and another $25 million in punitive damages.
“I cannot begin to tell you what this verdict means to my client,” Aldous said in a news release. “She is a brave young woman who stood for what was right against all odds. My hope is that she will be a voice for sexual assault victims who are afraid to come forward and hold rapists responsible for their actions.”
Aldous\Walker trial lawyers Brent Walker and Caleb Miller were also on the team that represented the woman in the case.
The release said that at trial, one of the two defendants in the case testified that what happened between him and Aldous’ client was not a sexual assault, but consensual. The other defendant testified by video deposition and asserted his Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination. Carrie Leangela Garcia Sanders, who represented the defendant who testified in the Denton County trial, declined to comment on the case Friday.
Aldous graduated from Sherman High School and attended Grayson College before going to Austin College where she received her undergraduate degree.